to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault
I called my daughter on the carpet last night and confronted her about a complaining attitude, only to have God gently poke me on the shoulder this morning and tell me to heed my own words. Ow.
My daughter’s not so thrilled with her part-time job and says something about it just about every time she’s about to go there and work. This week it was getting old to me. I told her if she was that unhappy with it to just quit, but that she also wouldn’t have a job, or an income, or gas money, or spending money. I reminded her that there are many less-appealing jobs she could have and to be thankful. She knows all this stuff but I felt a reminder was in order.
I was thinking more about it as John and I finished our jog/walk this morning in quietness, as the dark blue sky began to lighten and the twinkling stars began to fade out of sight. The Bible tells us that every good thing comes from God, the Father of light, who never changes like shifting shadows do. What He gives is good! So, when my daughter complains about her job, in a way she’s saying, “I don’t like your gift,” or “it’s not good enough” or “I wish you had given me something different.” We wouldn’t say that to a friend or someone in our family who had just given us a gift – it would be hurtful and ungrateful. When we complain – an ungrateful attitude is lurking and showing itself.
I looked up the word complain on dictionary.com and found it interesting that the first definition is to “express dissatisfaction.” I also found it interesting as I scrolled down the page that the antonym for “complain” is “rejoice.” Hmmmmm…God just poked me again. Ow!
When we complain we’re still unhappy. Nothing gets better. Nothing becomes more fun. It even puts a damper on the day of the person we’re complaining to! When we’re thankful for everything, however, even if it’s not exactly what we wished for or would have chosen we have God’s peace and it shows. (Read Philippians 4:6-7. Thankfulness is KEY to having God’s peace) There’s a little veggie tales song that always comes to mind when I think about these things, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” I quote it to my girls often and they just love it. If we choose to be thankful, even if we really don’t FEEL thankful at first, we’ll start to have a change of heart. We’ll see the good in what God’s given us.
I told myself no whining today. I choose to be thankful! When I forget tomorrow or the next day, I’m sure God will be glad to poke me again and remind me. Even that is a good thing from Him!
“Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing.” James 1:17 The Message
“Do everything without complaining and arguing…” Philippians 2:14 NLT